There’s an intrepid gringa who’s living a full life on a handmade finca down the river from here. She comes to the Saturday morning swap meet. One of the things she sells is snakeskin hatbands and bracelets. When I asked her about them, here’s what she said:
“The locals kill every snake they see. I try to discourage this by telling them how good some snakes are, but even I make an exception for the fer de lance (barba amarilla) when they live around people’s houses.
Bothrops asper chiefly inhabits tropical rainforest and evergreen forest, but it also occurs in drier areas of tropical deciduous forest, thorn forest and pine savannah near lakes, rivers and streams. This species is mostly nocturnal, hiding in leaf litter or among roots during the day,Sometimes referred to as the “ultimate pitviper,” these snakes are found in a wide range of lowland habitats, often near human habitations. Large and nervous, this species is the main cause of snakebite incidents within its range. They are deadly and death can be instantaneous.
“So when they kill those snakes, I’ve asked them to bring me the skins, and sometimes they do. In fact they bring the entire snake, at the end of a long stick or wrapped up tight in bags. They hate them and don’t want anything to do with them.”
Anyone who has seen my present number one hat knows it’s in serious need of a decent hat band, and more. But much as I’d like to support this woman, it just doesn’t seem right in any way to have something like that wrapped around my brain.